Steele v. Neeman

In Steele v. Neeman, 6 P.3d 649 (Wyo. 2000), the parties were attempting to modify a divorce decree. Because the mother had moved with the child to New York, subject matter jurisdiction was a concern. Id. at 652. Prior to a hearing on the merits, the district court issued an order establishing subject matter jurisdiction. Id. After the hearing on the merits, the mother appealed the court's prior order establishing jurisdiction. Id. The father claimed that the appeal was untimely, asserting that the order was an appealable order under W.R.A.P. 1.05, and since mother filed her notice outside the allowable thirty-day time period, her appeal should be dismissed. Steele, 6 P.3d at 653. The Court concluded that the order was not appealable under W.R.A.P. 1.05. Steele, 6 P.3d at 653. The Court stated: "The resolution of the jurisdictional issue by the district court did not determine the merits of the controversy. This is self-evident from the fact that the very order cited by Father also sets the merits of the controversy--his petition to modify visitation--for hearing. Since that order did not determine the merits of the controversy and resolve all outstanding issues, it was not a final, appealable order under W.R.A.P. 1.05(a)." Id.